Home > arriere-pensee > The Mechanics of a social System

The Mechanics of a social System


One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.                                                                           …….Elbert Hubbard

         The above quote often quoted by my 12 grade English teacher in her amaranthine effort to imbibe into us the need to differentiate oneself to create a difference in this existentialist world. I hardly gave a second thought to her advice during those days. It has now been 12 years after I graduated from high school and I realize the Importance of that quote by Elbert Hubbard.

If we substitute the word “Machine” from the Elbert’s quote and replace it with the (social) System and make a few changes we can re-quote is as

Though system engineers the lives of a million ordinary men, it takes only one extraordinary man to engineer the system.


In such a biased and jaundiced situation, most social systems take advantage and reign in the lives of millions of people, till a random event creates an extra ordinary man who can bring some order to the system. Since the systems love to move towards chaos it inhibits the every effort to create these extraordinary particles. One of interesting ways in which the system inhibits this stabilization process is by creating another anti-order particle, which again moves the system to its destined chaos. This is a never ending process and world has a lot of examples to prove it.

One event that comes to me right now is India and its current reservation crisis.

      The cast system in the early Vedic times, was created by an extraordinary man who realized that, a society classified into different castes based on individuals professional skills brings order into the society. It ensures continuity of skills and ensures a more complete labor portfolio for the society and the prosperity of the economy. The system retaliates this by introducing elements that abuse the system to lead the Indian society to the chaos of the early 18th century to an extent that the society gets fragmented and at a virtual collapse.

      A random event in the system created social reform movement in India lead by Raja Ram Mohan Roy and others brought some order and the subsequent effort of the social reform juggernaut during the post independence brought some order back into the system. The system then created the Anti-order particle in the name of  V.P.Singh in the early 90s and an Arjun Singh right now to send it back to the dark ages

      I am still looking forward for that random event in the system that is going to create one extraordinary man who can carry the burden of re-engineering a system which is right now in complete control of leading itself to its destined chaos.

By the way I always wonder how the ants manage a castic society so efficiently well ..

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  1. January 16, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    unbelievable yet true!! that is God”s skill !!

  2. subodh srivastava
    August 9, 2006 at 5:14 pm

    true!!!!!!!!!

  3. June 19, 2006 at 1:57 pm

    Good thought. Tiny random events, and/or extraordinary people who refuse to ge with the herd, can make or break systems. sage.rediffiland.com

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